All news at a glance – news archive of the Cluster of Excellence

Research results, workshops, conferences, lectures, cultural projects and current research-based statements: you can find all news published online by the Cluster in chronological order here. In addition, information sent to the national and international media is provided in the press releases section.

PEACE. From Antiquity to the Present Day

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© exc

At the public conference “PEACE. Theories, Images and Strategies from Antiquity to the Present Day” of the Cluster of Excellence, which will be held from 22 to 25 May 2018 in Münster, internationally renowned researchers will address the question in 21 lectures of why people throughout the ages wanted peace, but never succeeded in securing it in the long term. Over the next few weeks, the Cluster of Excellence will present key topics of the conference on the Internet and in the media.

First theological trialogue in Washington

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Researchers from all over the world will meet from June 27th – 29th in Washington for the third session of the first theological trialogue ever between Buddhists, Muslims and Christians. At Georgetown University they will discuss concepts of salvific action, as the theologian and religious studies scholar Prof. Dr. Perry Schmidt-Leukel of the Cluster of Excellence explains.

Religion in Goethe’s Poetry

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On 3 July, the literary scholar, writer and Kleist Prize winner Prof. Dr Dirk von Petersdorff will speak about the religious aspects of the poetry of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe at the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”.

Warning Against “Drifting into State Terrorism”

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© WWU/ Peter Wattendorff

In the face of international conflicts, the philosopher and ethicist Prof. Dr Michael Quante warns against state warfare drifting into “state terrorism”. “In view of modern weapon systems, we need a social debate on the ethically and legally justifiable options of warfare that states have.”

Politics and Question of Women’s Rights in Orthodoxy

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In June, the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” will welcome two proven experts of the Orthodox Churches as visiting fellows: Orthodox theologian Prof. Dr Cyril Hovorun and historian and religious scholar Dr Irina Paert.

“Da pacem, Domine”

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© imslp.org

“Music has always been a central medium of the artistic engagement with the subject of ‘peace’,” explains musicologist Dr Dominik Höink, who invites to the conference “Religiöse Friedensmusik von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart” (Religious Peace Music from Antiquity to the Present Day) from 28 to 30 June.

“Love Displaces Violence”

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© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2018
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2018

According to researchers, artists from ancient times to the present day have kept using the same symbols and metaphors to depict peace. “Dove or rainbow, kiss or embrace, peace banquet, horrors of war or the victory of love over violence – artistic depictions of peace have a long history," says art historian Prof. Dr. Eva-Bettina Krems from the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”.

Transmission of religion across generations

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© Vince Musi/The White House, Tomasz Samek/Stadtmuseum Münster

At the conference of the Cluster of Excellence "The transmission of religion across generations: transfer, loss and re-formation of religion", which will be held from 17 to 18 May 2018 in Münster, internationally renowned researchers will address the question of the decline of religion.

From Religion in Goethe to Atheistic Ideas for the Future

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In the summer semester, the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” will again welcome a great number of international visiting fellows who have been invited by one or several of the members of the research association to conduct research and give public lectures in Münster.

“How did the modern world come into being?”

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© wikipedia

Internationally renowned scholars will discuss the origins of modernity at a conference of the Cluster of Excellence in Berlin in May. The researchers will pay particular attention to the role of religion in the development of modernity.

New Sociology of Religion Handbook

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© Springer VS

Leading sociologists of religion have presented the first comprehensive handbook on the sociology of religion in German-speaking countries. It provides an overview of the state of research and expounds the field of research’s spectrum and relevance. In the handbook, they edit the basics of their subject for scholars and students of sociology, theology and religious studies as well as for those who are interested in politics and the media.

“Peace has only recently become the prime objective of politics”

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© Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, Foto: I. Desnica

According to historians, the political goal of peace has never been as important as it is today. “For example, those who considered peace to be the most important political goal in 1913 belonged to a minority,” says historian Prof. Dr Hans-Ulrich Thamer of the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” before the 101st Katholikentag.

“State Without God”

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© C. H. Beck

The renowned legal philosopher and former Hans Blumenberg Visiting Professor Prof. Dr. Horst Dreier has published a monograph on religion in secular modernity under the title “Staat ohne Gott” (State Without God). The first four chapters of the volume cover the topics of his lecture series “Herausforderungen des sekulären Verfassungsstaates” (Challenges of the secular constitutional state), which was part of the Hans Blumenberg Visiting Professorship at the Cluster of Excellence.

New Hans Blumenberg visiting professors

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The Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” is looking forward to welcoming two renowned Hans Blumenberg visiting professors in summer semester 2018: Iceland-born sociologist Jóhann Páll Árnason, who will give lectures “On the Question of a Religious-Political Constitution of Modernity” (in German), and American sociologist and religious scholar Mark Juergensmeyer, who will present “Religion and War” in Münster.

Karl Marx, Philosopher

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© C. H. Beck

A new publication by the philosopher Prof. Dr. Kurt Bayertz from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” addresses the philosophical roots of Karl Marx. 200 years after Karl Marx was born, not everything has been said about his thinking, the scholar underlines.

What role does religion play in modernisation?

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The Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” is looking forward to welcoming two renowned Hans Blumenberg visiting professors in summer semester 2018: American sociologist and religious scholar Mark Juergensmeyer, who will present “Religion and War” in a public lecture series in Münster in June, and Iceland-born sociologist Jóhann Páll Árnason, who will give lectures, starting 8 May, on the role of religion in the process of modernisation.

What the oldest peace treaty in the world teaches us

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© Vorderasiatisches Mus., Berlin, O. Teßmer
© Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin, Olaf Teßmer

According to archaeologists, the world’s oldest peace treaty disproves the widespread notion that in antiquity, peace was not brought about by negotiations, but always by humiliating those who had lost.

“Peace agreements have always only succeeded with genuine trust”

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© Vince Musi/The White House, Tomasz Samek/Stadtmuseum Münster
© Bildnachweise: Vince Musi/The White House, Tomasz Samek/Stadtmuseum Münster

Gifts, peace banquets and reconciliation rituals: according to historians, peace agreements have historically been reached if, above all, specific trust could be established between opponents. “Confidence-building measures are not a patent remedy, but increase the probability of peace, according to studies covering different epochs,” says medieval historian Prof. Dr Gerd Althoff.

“The Disambiguation of the World”

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© Reclam

Scholar of Arabic studies Prof. Dr Thomas Bauer of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” has published an essay on the tendency of contemporary Western societies to simplify the world.

Catholic Convention: Invitation to Open Air Lectures by Cluster of Excellence

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© Katholikentag

At the 101st German Catholic Convention in Münster, the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” will present short lectures and discussions in an open-air lecture theatre. The morning programme will deal with the relationship of world religions and violence in the past and present, while the afternoon programme will deal with religious policy today.

“Religion and Politics: The Magazine”

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The Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” introduces the wealth of its research in a new format: “Religion and Politics: The Magazine” presents in richly illustrated reports, interviews, portraits, and essays the research and the researchers connected over the past few years to the interdisciplinary network of the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU).

Peace – From Antiquity to the Present Day

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© Vince Musi/The White House, Tomasz Samek/Stadtmuseum Münster
© Bildnachweise: Vince Musi/The White House, Tomasz Samek/Stadtmuseum Münster

At the public conference “PEACE. Theories, Images and Strategies from Antiquity to the Present Day” of the University of Münster’s Cluster of Excellence, which will be held from 22 to 25 May 2018 in Münster, internationally renowned researchers will address the question of why people throughout the ages wanted peace, but never succeeded in securing it in the long term.

„Do you accept?“

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© Andreas Samland, Helene Basu

In the context of the federal and state governments’ Excellence Strategy, the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” of the University of Münster has submitted to the German Research Foundation its application for a new funding period starting in 2019.

Cluster of Excellence applies for new funding period

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© exc

In the context of the federal and state governments’ Excellence Strategy, the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” of the University of Münster has submitted to the German Research Foundation its application for a new funding period starting in 2019.

Religion and Modernity: an International Comparison

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© Oxford University Press

A fundamental work on the role of religion in modern societies by sociologists Detlef Pollack and Gergely Rosta from Münster University’s Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” has now been published in English by Oxford University Press under the title of “Religion and Modernity: An International Comparison”.

More than 1,000 Ancient Sealings Discovered

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© Forschungsstelle Asia Minor

Classical scholars from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” of the University of Münster discovered a large number of sealings in south-east Turkey. This group of artefacts comprising more than 1,000 pieces from the municipal archive of the ancient city of Doliche gives many insights into the local Graeco-Roman pantheon – from Zeus to Hera to Iuppiter Dolichenus, who turned into one of the most important Roman deities from this site.

“God Beyond Boundaries”

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© Waxmann

“God Beyond Boundaries”, written by the Religious Studies Scholar and Theologian Perry Schmidt-Leukel of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”, deals with the essential features and benefits of a pluralist approach in the theology of religions.

“European Muslims perceive the EU more positively than other Europeans”

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© Benedikt Weischer

According to a study of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”, Muslims in Europe have a more positive view of the European Union (EU) compared to all other groups of the European population. “On average, Muslims have a higher level of trust in EU institutions than members of other religious or non-religious groups such as Christians and those unaffiliated with any religion,” says political scientist Prof. Dr. Bernd Schlipphak.